« AnteriorContinuar »
TALES OF A WAYSIDE INN.
THE WAYSIDE INN.
As ancient is this hosteiry
A region of repose it seems
A place of slumber and of dreams,
It emote among the wooded hills!
For there no noisy railway speeds
Its toreh-race scattering smoke and gleeds;
Bnt noon and night, the panting teams
Stop under the great oaks, that throw
Tangles of light and shape below.
On roofs and doors, and window-sills.
Across the road the barns display
Their lines of stalls, their mows of hay.
Throngh the wide doors the breezes blow,
The wattled cocks strnt to and fro,
And half effaced by rain and shine,
The Red Horse prances on the sigu.
Round this old-fashioned, quaint abode
Deep silence reigued, save when a gust
Went rushing down the conntry road,
And skeletous of leaves, and dust,
A moment quickened by its breath,
Shnddered and danced their dance of death.
And throngh the ancient oaks o'erhead
Mysterions voices moaned and fled.
Bnt from the parlonr of the iun
A pleasant rumonr smote the car,
Like water rushing throngh a weir;
Oft interrupted by the din
Of laughter and of lond applause,
And in each intervening pause
The umsic of a violin
The tire-light shedding over all
The splendonr of its rnddy glow,
Filled the low parlonr large and low;
It gleamed on waiuscot and on wall,
It tonched with more than wonted grace,
Fair Princess Mary's pietured face; .'•"•'
It bronzed the rafters overhead,
On the old spinet's ivory keys
It played inandible melodies,
It crowned the sombre clock with Flame,
The hands, the honrs, the maker's name.
And painted with a livelier red
Before the blazing fire pf wood
Ereet the rapt umsician stood;
And ever and anon he bent
His head upon his iustrument.
And seemed to listen, till he caught
Confessious of its secret thonght—
The joy, the trinmph, the lament,
The exultation and the pain;
Then, by the magic of his art.
He soothed the throbbings of his heart,
And lulled it into peace again.
Aronnd the fireside at their ease
There sat a gronp of friends entranced
With the delicious melodies \
Who from the far-off noisy town
Had to the way-side iun come down,
To rest beneath its old oak-trees;
The fire-light on their faces glanced.
Their shadows on the waiuscot danced,
And, thongh of different land and speech,
Each had his tale to tell, and each
Was anxions to be pleased and please.
And white the sweet umsician plays,
Let me in ontline sketch them all,
Perehance unconthiy as the blaze
With its uncertain tonch ponrtrays
Their shadowy semblance on the wall.
Bnt first the Landlord will I trace;
Grave in his aspeet and attire;
A man of ancient pedigree,
A justice of the peace was he.
Known in all Sndbury as "The Squire."
Prond was he ef his name and race.
Of old Sir William and Sir Hugh,
And in the parlonr, full in view,
His coat-of-arms well framed and glazed,
Upon the walls in colonrs blazed;
He beareth gules upon his shield,
A chevron argent in the field.
With three wolves' heads, and for the crest
A Wyvern part-per-pale, addressed
Upon a heimet barred; below
The scroll reads, "By the name of Howe."
And over this no longer bright
Thongh glimmering with a latent light.
Was hung the sword his grandsire bore,
In the rebellions day of yore,
Down there at Concord In the fight.
A yonth was there of quiet ways,
A Stndent of old books and days.
To whom all tongnes and lands were known,
And yet a lover of his own;
With many a social virtne graced,
And yet a friend of solitnde;
The melodies and measures fraught •
With suushine and the open air,'
And mnch it pleased him to peruao .,'
The songs of the Sicilian umse,—
A Spanish Jew from Alicant
With aspeet, grand and grave was there;
Vender of silks and fabries rare.
And attar of rose from the Scvant.
Like an old Patriareh he appeared, '"•' .
Abraham or Isaae, or at le;ist
Some later Prophet or High-Priest; .
With lustrons eyes and olive-skin, .
And, wildly tossed from cheeks and chin,
The tumbling cataraet of his beard.
His garments breathed a spiey scent,
Of ciunamon and sandal blent, il
Like the soft aromatic gales
That meet the mariner, who sails
Throngh the Molnccas, and the seas ).;
That wash the shores of Celebes. • .
Alistorio's that recorded are
By Pierre Alphouse he knew by heart,
The maker from whoso hands it came llnd written his uarivalled mune,—
And when he played, the atmosphere
The music ceased ; the applause was lond
THE LANm.oWV.S TALE.
I.i.STKv, my children, and yon shall hear
W ho remembers tliat famons day and year.
He said to his friend, "If the British mareh
J,"!,8 \ anfuCI^, aloft "i "ie helfrv areh'
Then he s.iid, "Good night! oar
iii,1f("!ly,Lmvca ,0 th0 L'jwrlestown shore
Just as the moon rose over fhe hay
Where swinging wide at her moorings lay
The Somerset, British man-of-war
A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
Across tlie moon like a prison bar.
And a huge black hulk, that was maguified
By its own reflection in the tide. ""'s""""u
Meanwhile, his friend, throngh alley and street
Then he climbed to the tower of the chureh
And startled the pigeous from their pereh
« here he paused to listen and look down
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
So throngh the night rode Paul Revcre; .
And on throngh the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm,
A cry of defiance and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo for evermore!'
For, horne on the night-wind of the Past,
Throngh all onr history, to the last.
In the honr of darkness and peril and need.
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-heats of that steed.
And the miduight message of Paul Revere.
On a rnde bench beneath his cottage caves,
Ser Federigo sat among the leaves
Of a huge vine, that with its arms ontspread,
Hung its delirious clusters overhead.
Below him, throngh the lovely valley, flowed
The river Arno, like a winding rffnd,
And from its banks were lifted high in air
The spires and roofs of Florence called the Fair;
To hhn a marble tomh, that rose above
Hls wasted fortunes and his buricij.love.
For there in banqnet and in tournnracnt,
His wealth had lavished been, Iiis substance
Then he withdrew, in povertyand pain.
To this small farm, the last of his domain.
Hls ouly comfort and his ouly care
To prune his vines, and plant the fig and pear;
His ouly forester and ouly gnest
Hls falcon faithful to him'when the rest.
Whose willing hand had fonnd so light of yore
The brazen knocker of his palace door.
Had now no strength to lift the wooden latch,
That entrance gave beneath a roof of thatcli.
Companion of his solitary ways.
Purveyor of his feasts on holidays,
On him this melancholy man bestowed
The love with which his nature overllowed.
And so the empty-handed years went ronnd.
dare The headlong plunge thro' eddying gulfs of air, Then, starting broad awake upon his perch. Tinkled his neils, like mass-bens fn a chureh, And. looking at his master seemed to say, "Ser Federigo, shall we hunt to-day?"
Ser Federigo thonght not of the chase I
The tender vision of her lovely face,
1 will not say he seems to see, he sees
In the leaf-showers of trellises.
Herself, yet not herself ; a lovely child
With fiowing tresses, and eyes wide and wild,
Coming undaunted up the garden walk.
And looking not at him bnt at the hawk.
"Beantiful falcon!" said he, "wonld that I
Might hold thee on my wrist, or see thee iiy!"
The voice was hers, and made strange echoes
"Who is thy mother, my fair bov T" he said,
So he spake on; and Federgo heard
Mouna Giovauna, widowed in her prime.
Had come with friends to pass the summer time
In her grand villa, hulf-wny up the hill,
Overlooking Florence, bnt retired and still;
With iron sates, Hint opened throngh long lines
Of sacred ilex and centeunial pines,
And terraced gardeus, and broad steps of stone,
And sylvan deities, with moss o'crgrown,
And fonntaius palpitating in the heat,
And all Val d'Arno stretched beneath its feet.
Here in seclusion, as a widow may.
room With secret awe and preternatural gloom. The petted boy Brew ill, and day by day Pined with mysterions malady away. The motheris heart wonld not be comforted; 1 ler darling seemed to her aiready dead. And often, sitting by the sufferer s side, "What can I do to comfort thee Y' she cried. At first "the silent lips made no reply,' l itit moved at length by her importunate cry, ( "Give me," he auswered, with imploring tone, "Ser Federigo's fulcon for my own V
No auswer conld the astonished mother make;
The morrow was a bright September morn;
and shade, Each by the other's presence lovelier made.
Mouna Giovanna and her bosom friend,
They fonnd Ser Federigo at his toil.
Like banished Adam, delving in the soil;
And when he looked and these fair women
Mouna Giovauna raised her stately head,
And after further compliment and talk, —
Among the dahiias in the garden walk
He left his gnests; and to the cottage turned,
And as he entered for a moment yearned ,•
For the lost splendonrs of the days of old,
The rnddv glass, the silver and the gold,
And felt now piercing is the sting of pride,
By wantembittered and inteusified. , , --»jth
He looked abont lilin for some meaus or way ^J
To keep this unexpeeted holiday;
Searehed every cupboard, and then searehed
again. Summoned the maid, who came, bnt came in
vain; "The Siguor did not hunt to-day," she said. There's nothing in the house bnt wine and
Then snddeuly the drowsy falcon shook
His lime bells, with that sagacions look.
Which said, as plain as language to the ear,
"If anything is wanting. 1 am here!"
Yes, everything is wanting, gallant bird
The master seized thee withont further word.
Like thine own lure, he whirled thee ronnd; ah,
Then on the board a suow-white cloth he